Former Raleigh Church Worker Accused Of Embezzling Money

The former adminstrative assistant at a Raleigh church is accused of embezzling more than 171-thousand dollars from the church's credit cards and bank accounts.

Police arrested Anita Hagan Copeland after an investigation that covered close to a month.

Copeland sent a letter to church officials resigning her position on November 27th, saying she and her husband were moving out of the area. A church spokesman says her last day on the job was December 8th.

It was about that time that the church treasurer received a call from the church's bank saying several checks had bounced.

The church's board of deacons voted in December for an independent audit of the church's finances. That audit found inappropriate ransactions by Copeland. Church officials called police, who took over the investigation in early January.

The church spokesman says it was easy for Copeland to escape detection because no church members oversee the church's budget.